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					           RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS



                FUNDING POLICY



              FOR FUNDING IN 2012




       Applications OPEN: 13 December 2010

CLOSING DATE/TIME: 10 February 2011 at 5:00 pm AEDST
                                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS

     1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 4
     2. Background......................................................................................................................................... 4
     3. Summary of Changes to the Policy................................................................................................... 4
     4. Who Should Apply for a Research Fellowship?.............................................................................. 5
     5. Aims..................................................................................................................................................... 5
     6. Selection Criteria................................................................................................................................ 5
     7. Eligibility............................................................................................................................................. 6
     7.1 Qualifications ....................................................................................................................................... 6
     7.2 Eligible Administering Institutions...................................................................................................... 6
     7.3 Directors of Institutes........................................................................................................................... 6
     7.4 Citizenship ........................................................................................................................................... 6
     7.5 Cross Grant Eligibility ......................................................................................................................... 6
     7.6 Other Funding Sources......................................................................................................................... 6
     7.7 Removal of Applications...................................................................................................................... 6
     8. Fellowship Packages and Awards..................................................................................................... 7
     8.1 Research Fellowship Levels and Packages .......................................................................................... 7
     8.2 Additional Funding .............................................................................................................................. 7
        8.2.1      Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Award ..................................................................................... 7
        8.2.2      Support Enhancement Options............................................................................................... 8
     8.3 Bernie Banton Fellowship.................................................................................................................... 9
     8.4 Research Grant Support ....................................................................................................................... 9
     9. Scope of the Scheme ........................................................................................................................... 9
     9.1 Categories of Awards........................................................................................................................... 9
        9.1.1      Full-time five-year Fellowships ............................................................................................. 9
        9.1.2      Part-time five-year Fellowships ............................................................................................. 9
        9.1.3      Honorary Research Fellowships ............................................................................................ 9
        9.1.4      Howard Florey Emeritus Fellowships.................................................................................. 10
        9.1.5      One Year Extension of Fellowship for Retiring Fellows..................................................... 11
     9.2 Suspension of Research Fellowships for Family or Personal Reasons.............................................. 11
     9.3 Parental Leave.................................................................................................................................... 11
        9.3.1      Paid Parental Leave Scheme: ............................................................................................... 12
     9.4 Career Disruption ............................................................................................................................... 12
     10. Types of Application ........................................................................................................................ 12
     10.1 Initial Application at Senior Research Fellow (SRF) Level .............................................................. 12
     10.2 Initial Application at Principal Research Fellow (PRF) and Senior Principal Research Fellow
          (SPRF) Level...................................................................................................................................... 13
       10.2.1Exceptional Circumstances .......................................................................................................... 13
       10.2.2      Review Processes for Initial Application at PRF and SPRF levels: .................................... 13
     10.3 Reapplications .................................................................................................................................... 14
       10.3.1      Sixth Year Extensions .......................................................................................................... 14
     10.4 Promotion........................................................................................................................................... 14
       10.4.1      Reapplication with Promotion ............................................................................................. 15
       10.4.2      Promotions Out of Synchrony.............................................................................................. 15
     10.5 Practitioner Fellows applying for Research Fellowships................................................................... 16



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                                                                   2
     11. Application Process.......................................................................................................................... 16
     11.1 How to Apply..................................................................................................................................... 16
     11.2 Retracted Publications........................................................................................................................ 16
     11.3 Opening and Closing date for Applications ....................................................................................... 17
     11.4 Interviews........................................................................................................................................... 17
     12. Peer Review Process......................................................................................................................... 18
     13. Administration ................................................................................................................................. 19
     13.1 Deed of Agreement ............................................................................................................................ 19
     13.2 Financial Management - Payments .................................................................................................... 19
     13.3 Responsible Conduct of Research...................................................................................................... 19
     13.4 Privacy of individuals ........................................................................................................................ 20
     13.5 Use of Personal Information .............................................................................................................. 20
     13.6 Confidentiality ................................................................................................................................... 20
     13.7 Intellectual property ........................................................................................................................... 20
     13.8 False or Misleading Information........................................................................................................ 20
     13.9 Enquiries ............................................................................................................................................ 21
     14. Reporting .......................................................................................................................................... 21
     14.1 Mid-Term Progress Report ................................................................................................................ 21
     14.2 Final Report........................................................................................................................................ 21
     14.3 Trans-Tasman Joint Initiative Award Report..................................................................................... 22
     14.4 Support Enhancement Option Report ................................................................................................ 22
     14.5 Financial Reporting............................................................................................................................ 22
     15. Open Access Statement.................................................................................................................... 22
     16. Objections and Complaints Process ............................................................................................... 23
     16.1 Objections .......................................................................................................................................... 23
     16.2 Formal Complaints to the Commissioner .......................................................................................... 23
     Statements of Expectations - Attachment 1 ........................................................................................... 24
     NHMRC Research Fellowship Ranking Category Descriptor - Attachment 2.................................. 26
     Scoring/Ranking Matrix for Research Fellowships Applications - Attachment 3............................. 29
     Research Fellowships Packages commencing in 2012 - Attachment 4................................................ 30
     Peer Review Timetable - Attachment 5.................................................................................................. 31




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                                                                   3
                   RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS FUNDING POLICY

1.      Introduction
This document provides a guideline for applicants who are applying for National Health and Medical
Research Council (NHMRC) Research Fellowships. It should be read in conjunction with the NHMRC
Research Fellowships Advice and Instructions to Applicants in the Research Grants Management System
(RGMS) Library and the Application Form, which can be accessed by logging in to RGMS at:
https://www.rgms.nhmrc.gov.au


2.      Background
NHMRC is committed to identifying and supporting the best research and researchers in Australia. The
NHMRC aims to achieve this by supporting the best and most relevant research. This commitment comes
from the 2010 - 2012 NHMRC Strategic Plan, Objective 3 to foster medical research and training and public
health research and training throughout Australia. The Strategic Plan is available on the NHMRC website at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/nh132syn.htm


3.      Summary of Changes to the Policy
The following changes have been made to the Research Fellowships Funding Policy for funding in 2011:

     1. The wording in relation to ‘Support Enhancement Options’ (SEO) has been revised (Section 8.2.2).
        This includes the introduction of a reporting requirement for SEO awardees and a change to the
        process for reviewing SEO. Applications for SEO will be considered by the Peer Review Panel rather
        than internally by the NHMRC.
     2. Current Fellows, who are nearing retirement and intend to remain research active, may apply for a one
        year extension of their Research Fellowship (Section 9.1.5).
     3. In line with the new Australian Government paid Parental Leave Scheme, all references to ‘Maternity
        Leave’ have been replaced by ‘Parental Leave’. (Section 9.3)
     4. New wording has been added (Section 11.2) in relation to ‘Retracted Publications’.
     5. New wording has been added in relation to ‘Career Disruptions’ (Section 9.4) and False or Misleading
        Information (Section 13.8).
     6. Revision of wording in relation to Section 13.3 Responsible Conduct of Research to highlight that
        there must not be any contact between applicants and PRP members or external assessors in relation to
        applications.
     7. The Research Performance Descriptors have been replaced by Ranking Category Descriptors at
        Attachment 2.
     8. Weighting of the ‘Vision’ selection criteria has been increased from 20% to 25% and the weighting of
        the ‘Track Record’ selection criteria has been decreased from 65% to 60% at Attachment 3.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                4
4.        Who Should Apply for a Research Fellowship?
The purpose of the Scheme is to provide support for outstanding health and medical researchers to undertake
research that is of major importance in its field and of significant benefit to Australian health and medical
research.

Research Fellowships are open to all researchers in Australia who have a sustained track record of significant
output as demonstrated in peer-reviewed literature, and a strong commitment to quality research outputs as
judged relative to opportunity.

Research Fellowships offered by NHMRC are prestigious, highly competitive, sought after awards for high
performing mid-career researchers. Recipients of Research Fellowships are generally in the top 10% of their
field and are viewed as ‘pushing the boundaries’ of research.


5.        Aims
Significant contributions to health research are made from a diverse community which includes people with
additional roles such as teaching and clinical care. NHMRC seeks to enrich this broad spectrum of roles, by
providing the opportunity for researchers to be active on a full-time basis, in any discipline, so that the
frontiers of our understanding of health and disease are expanded aggressively and with maximum impact. To
this end, the NHMRC Research Fellowships Scheme aims to recruit and support Australia’s very best medical
and health research talent in full-time research during the most productive years of their research life.

A critical objective of the scheme is to foster an intellectual environment which supports and builds the
capacity of Australian research for the future and in so doing, creates knowledge through investment in
research which improves health and thus contributes to Australia’s prosperity.


6.        Selection Criteria
All applicants will be assessed and ranked against the Selection Criteria listed below and on how well their
application meets the aims of the Scheme. All criteria are assessed relative to opportunity.

     1.   Vision for the next five years
     2.   Intellectual leadership and contribution
     3.   Quality of Research Output (publications, patents, research translation)
     4.   National and international profile
     5.   Success in obtaining grants
     6.   Research supervision and mentoring

The Ranking Category Descriptors at Attachment 2 are used as a guide by the Peer Review Panels to score an
application against each of the selection criteria.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                     5
7.     Eligibility
7.1    Qualifications
Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent research qualification.

7.2    Eligible Administering Institutions
Applications must be certified and submitted by an NHMRC Administering Institution. Applicants and
institutions intending to submit an application should refer to the NHMRC Administering Institutions Policy,
which includes a list of NHMRC Administering Institutions. The policy is available on the NHMRC website
at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/policy/admininst.htm

7.3    Directors of Institutes
A Director of an NHMRC Accredited Independent Research Institute, a Dean or a Deputy Vice-Chancellor
(DVC) Research are ineligible to hold a fellowship. The administrative and financial responsibilities of these
roles make them inconsistent with the requirements and full-time nature of a Research Fellowship. A Director
of a Centre under university or hospital governance who does not have the same administrative and financial
responsibilities may be eligible to hold a Research Fellowship, subject to clarification at interview or at any
subsequent time during the life of the Fellowship.

7.4    Citizenship
Applicants must be an Australian citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident, or a New Zealand citizen.
Applicants who have not yet been granted Permanent Resident status may apply provided such status has been
sought. However, a Fellowship cannot commence until permanent residency has been attained. Evidence that
this status has been granted must be provided prior to commencement of the Award. Offers of a Fellowship
will not be held open beyond the acceptance date in anticipation of permanent residency being granted.

7.5    Cross Grant Eligibility
NHMRC Research Fellows are not able to personally receive benefits from a comparable Fellowship (e.g.
Future Fellowship) or full-time academic position in conjunction with their NHMRC Research Fellowship.
NHMRC Research Fellows will be required to inform the NHMRC if such situations arise. Where this
occurs, NHMRC will review the fellowship and make recommendations on a case-by-case basis. Applicants
should refer to Section 9.1.3 Honorary Research Fellowships for further information.

7.6    Other Funding Sources
Applicants are required to declare the source, duration and levels of all research funding held or applied for.
NHMRC may liaise with other funding agencies to discuss any overlap between applications in order to avoid
duplication of funding.

7.7    Removal of Applications
NHMRC reserves the right, at its absolute discretion, to remove applications from further consideration.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    6
8.       Fellowship Packages and Awards
8.1      Research Fellowship Levels and Packages
There are three Research Fellowship levels available in increasing order of experience and seniority.

The three Research Fellowship levels are:
     •   Senior Research Fellow (SRF A and SRF B)
     •   Principal Research Fellow
     •   Senior Principal Research Fellow

Each level provides one-line funding for five years.

Further details on the funding levels and packages are contained in Attachment 4 - Research Fellowship
Packages commencing in 2012.

An NHMRC Research Fellow is employed by the institution which administers the Fellow’s award. The grant
to an institution for a Research Fellowship is a package provided to assist the Institution to employ the Fellow.
The actual level of remuneration received by a Fellow is agreed through negotiation between the Fellow and
the Institution.

NHMRC is aware that there are varying levels of remuneration for Fellows at different institutions. No
additional claims may be made to NHMRC over and above the package, including additional claims for salary
on-costs (payroll tax, workers compensation, superannuation, long service leave etc), travel or any salary
increases associated with enterprise bargaining.

An annual indexation will be applied to the Research Fellowship Package and is based on the Commonwealth
Government Wage Cost Index (WCI).

8.2      Additional Funding
Applicants may apply for additional funding as follows:

8.2.1 Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Award
NHMRC and the Health Research Council of New Zealand have established the Trans-Tasman Joint Initiative
Award to foster the development of collaborative research initiatives between Australian and New Zealand
health and medical researchers.
This award provides $10,000 p.a. in addition to the Research Fellowship Package. It will be awarded to the
most highly ranked applicant for this award in that funding cycle. The Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Award
recipient must provide a one page report attached to their mid term Progress Report and their Final Report.
These reports should detail the activities undertaken to enhance collaborations with New Zealand researchers.
Refer to Section 14 - Reporting.
Payment of existing Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Awards for Sixth Year Extensions and Retiring Fellows
One Year Extensions
Current Fellows who are granted either a sixth year or one-year extension as a retiring fellow and were
awarded a Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Award under their existing fellowship, will continue to receive their
Trans Tasman Joint Initiative Award payment for the sixth year or one year extension of their award.



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    7
8.2.2 Support Enhancement Options
Funding via a Support Enhancement Option (SEO) is available to assist Fellows translate research outcomes
into improved health practice or to commercialise research discoveries. The SEO is designed to help bridge
the gap between health research and health practice or policy, or between health research and commercial or
industry developments. The activity proposed for funding by the SEO must be considered beyond the scope
of regular research activities undertaken by the applicant.

For Research Fellowships the SEO is $15,000 per annum for five years in addition to the base Research
Fellowship Package. The funds form part of the total one-line Research Fellowships Package.

Two categories of SEO are available – Health Practice or Industry. Applicants may apply for an SEO in one
category only.

A Health Practice SEO supports the practical application of research outcomes. Applicants need not have
medical or dental qualifications.

An Industry SEO is available to Fellows who can demonstrate against the justification for award points listed
below, that their activities will result in sustained research and development links with industry in order to
strengthen their capacity to translate their research into commercial products or applications.

SEO are not a “clinical loading”. The SEO may be used, for example, to pay for critical resources such as
part-time staff to facilitate development or implementation of health practice or commercial translation
activities. An application cannot be made during an existing Fellowship, but only on application for a new
five year Fellowship.
Reporting Requirements
SEO awardees must provide a one page report attached to their mid-term Progress Report and their Final
Report. These reports should detail current progress against the action plan which formed the justification for
the original SEO request. Refer to Section 14 - Reporting.
Justification for the Award of an SEO
Applicants must make a strong case for the award of an SEO by addressing the following points in their
application within the required character limit. Failure to do so will result in an SEO not being awarded.

   •   Provide an action plan outlining the health practice or commercialisation activity that will be
       undertaken.
   •   Justify why SEO funds are needed to implement the action plan.
   •   Demonstrate how the activity extends beyond the work done to achieve their research objectives.
   •   Describe the links between the health practice/commercialisation activity and the research objective.
   •   Demonstrate how the activity will enable others to use and apply the research results.

The PRP will consider applications for SEO as part of the peer review of each application at interview and
make a recommendation to the NHMRC Research Committee on its award.
Payment of existing SEO for Sixth Year Extensions and Retiring Fellows One Year Extensions
Current Fellows who are granted either a sixth year or one-year extension as a retiring fellow and were
awarded an SEO under their existing fellowship, will continue to receive their SEO payment for the sixth year
or one year extension of their award.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                      8
8.3      Bernie Banton Fellowship
NHMRC has established the Bernie Banton Fellowship as an annual Fellowship to commemorate the life of
Bernie Banton through supporting health and medical research related to mesothelioma. To be eligible to
apply for this fellowship, an applicant should be working in the field of mesothelioma and asbestosis. The
fellowship will be awarded to the most highly ranked applicant for this award in that funding cycle that has
been specifically recommended for funding by the PRP. This award does not provide any additional funding
to the Research Fellowship package.

8.4      Research Grant Support
Applicants must either have already obtained financial support for their research activity or have an
application pending. Applicants are encouraged to have research grant support from both the NHMRC and
other external funding bodies. Research grants support is available through either the Program or Project
Grants Schemes. Information is available on the Program or Project Grant pages of the NHMRC website:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/apply/programs/index.htm;
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/types/granttype/projects/index.htm


9.       Scope of the Scheme
An NHMRC Research Fellowship is a full time award, available for researchers working in biomedical,
clinical, public health and health services research areas. Research Fellows may spend up to 20% of their
time on other activities directly related to the research activity including, but not limited to, clinical
responsibilities, commercial activities, policy development, and public health activities.

9.1      Categories of Awards
There are five categories of awards as follows:

9.1.1 Full-time five-year Fellowships
These are renewable in the fifth year. Fellows may also apply for Promotion Out of Synchrony, in which case
a new five year Fellowship will be awarded.

9.1.2 Part-time five-year Fellowships
These are awarded only in exceptional circumstances and providing that the request is consistent with the
aims of the NHMRC Research Fellowship scheme. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Exceptional circumstances may include:

     •   parental or carer responsibilities where available work time is reduced
     •   personal circumstances such as illness
     •   clinical or public health practitioners whose research is of a highly competitive standard of scientific
         excellence comparable to full-time researchers.

9.1.3 Honorary Research Fellowships
Honorary Research Fellowships are awarded in certain circumstances when an NHMRC Research Fellow
(either a current or newly awarded Fellow) accepts an appointment to another prestigious position in health
and medical research. The following conditions apply to Honorary Research Fellowships:




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                      9
   •   the position must be for the conduct of health and medical research and must be based in Australia
       during the course of the five year award
   •   the Fellow must demonstrate that the aims of the non-NHMRC appointment are compatible with the
       aims of NHMRC Research Fellowships Scheme
   •   remuneration will not be provided by NHMRC during the term of award of an Honorary Research
       Fellowship
   •   if the other research position ceases before the end of the five-year NHMRC Research Fellowship, the
       Fellow can re-enter the NHMRC Research Fellowships Scheme and remuneration will recommence
       for the remainder of the Fellowship without any loss of status
   •   the honorary fellowship will apply for a maximum of five years. Should the duration of the other
       health research appointment extend beyond the expiration date of the NHMRC Research Fellowship,
       the recipient will need to apply for reapplication/promotion of their NHMRC Research Fellowship in
       the final year of the NHMRC Honorary Fellowship. Any such application is to be submitted in the
       normal way, and it will be reviewed and ranked with all other applicants
   •   an Honorary Fellow may apply for a promotion in the normal way
   •   Honorary Fellowships are not open to Fellows who accept remunerated academic positions, institute
       directorships or equivalent positions where their non-research duties and administrative
       responsibilities may not be aligned with the aims of the NHMRC Research Fellowships Scheme.
Fellows who wish to apply for honorary status should contact the Research Administration Officer at their
Administering Institution for advice.

9.1.4 Howard Florey Emeritus Fellowships
Fellows retiring at Senior Principal Research Fellowship (SPRF) level may apply for a Howard Florey
Emeritus Fellowship through an application which will be subject to peer review. Applications will be
reviewed by the Chairs of the Peer Review Panels.

The title NHMRC Howard Florey Emeritus Research Fellowship shall only be awarded for a period of five
years, to SPRFs who are not seeking reapplication to the Scheme and who:
   •   are at or near normal retirement age
   •   during their tenure have successfully applied for reapplication at SPRF level at least once. This will
       normally mean that the Fellow has completed at least one term as an SPRF and at least partially
       completed a second term as an SPRF.
   •   have contributed at the highest levels of research and research translation both nationally and
       internationally
   •   wish to have a continuing role in research
Fellows in this category will be provided with a Research Allowance of $5,000 per year to cover such items as
subscriptions, internet expenses and conference registration. Awardees must submit Progress, Final and
Financial Reports according to the reporting requirements for Research Fellows as outlined in Section 14 –
Reporting.
Fellows, who wish to apply for the Howard Florey Emeritus Fellowship, should do this by selecting this
fellowship from the initiative drop-down list in the RGMS ‘Create Application’ screen and also refer to the
Advice and Instructions for Applicants for this initiative in the RGMS Library.



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                   10
9.1.5 One Year Extension of Fellowship for Retiring Fellows
Current NHMRC Fellows, who are nearing retirement and intend to remain research active, may apply for a
one year extension of their Research Fellowship. Fellows will not be required to complete a full reapplication
for a new five year award nor attend an interview. If successful, no further extension will be granted in
addition to the one-year extension.

Fellows who are already in their sixth year of funding are not eligible to apply for a one-year extension.

If the Peer Review Panel considers the applicant has not demonstrated that they will be research active, the
Fellow will not be granted a one year extension. In this case, the applicant’s funding will cease at the end of
the fifth year and any subsequent Research Fellowship application will be considered as an initial application
to the Scheme.

Applicants must:
   • apply for their one-year extension in the final year of their current 5 year Fellowship.
   • submit a signed statement that, if they are successful in obtaining a one year extension, they will not
       apply to the Research Fellowship scheme in the future.
   • submit a one-page letter of intent and CV to demonstrate that they are and will remain research active,
       at a level commensurate with an NHMRC Research Fellowship, for the consideration of the Peer
       Review Panel.

The Peer Review Panel will make a recommendation to the NHMRC Research Committee based on their
assessment of the application submissions and applicants will be advised of the outcome following Ministerial
approval.

Current Fellows who wish to apply for a one year extension of their Fellowship, should email the NHMRC
through their institution’s Administration Office, by the closing date for applications, to:
research.fellowships@nhmrc.gov.au
Fellows must attach their signed statement, letter of intent and CV as outlined above.

9.2    Suspension of Research Fellowships for Family or Personal Reasons
Research Fellows may apply for suspension of their fellowship for family-related or personal reasons,
including reasons related to the birth and care of children. The suspension must be for either a full twelve
months or two year period and requests to suspend the fellowship will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The fellowship will be extended by a period of time equal to the duration of the suspension i.e. one or two
years. Remuneration will not be provided by NHMRC during the period of the suspension.
Current Fellows who wish to apply for suspension of their fellowship should contact the Research
Administration Officer at their Administering Institution for advice.

9.3    Parental Leave
Parental leave is paid in accordance with the arrangements applicable at the fellow’s Administering
Institution, up to a limit of 12 weeks. Leave taken beyond the 12 weeks is not paid, and the duration of the
fellowship will not be extended if the applicant returns to work at the completion of that 12 weeks.

The fellow is eligible to seek up to forty weeks Leave Without Pay (LWOP) in addition to the 12 weeks
parental leave. If the total period of absence is 52 weeks, the fellow may seek to extend the duration of the
award by 12 months by application for a suspension of their Research Fellowship (Section 9.2).



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                      11
If the fellow is granted the 12 weeks parental leave and a period less than nine months LWOP, no extension to
the life of the fellowship can be sought.
Current Fellows who wish to apply for parental leave should contact the Research Administration Officer at
their Administering Institution for advice.

9.3.1 Paid Parental Leave Scheme:
Information concerning the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme is available at the
following website:http://www.familyassist.gov.au/payments/family-assistance-payments/paid-parental-leave-
scheme

9.4    Career Disruption
The NHMRC accepts pregnancy and childbirth, major illness and carer responsibilities including parental
leave, as career disruptions. Other examples include significant events outside of applicants’ control, and may
include industry and other work placements where research was not able to be conducted. Applicants should
nominate periods where their career has been disrupted and provide a brief explanation of the reason.

Note: Academic or clinical responsibilities will be considered within the framework of "relative to
opportunity" and not career disruption.


10. Types of Application
Details on the types of application are outlined below and also in Research Fellowships Advice and
Instructions to Applicants which can be accessed at in the RGMS Library at:
https://www.rgms.nhmrc.gov.au

Applicants must also carefully read the Statements of Expectations (Attachment 1) for details on the three
NHMRC Research Fellow levels.

All applicants will be assessed each year in open competition, and the award of a fellowship will be based on
merit, consistent with the aims of the Fellowship scheme.

10.1 Initial Application at Senior Research Fellow (SRF) Level

Most initial applications to the Scheme are expected to be made at the level of Senior Research Fellow (SRF).
In the case of initial application to SRF, the panel will decide whether an applicant is to be recommended for
SRF A or SRF B level. Applicants should justify their case for award of a fellowship at either SRF A or SRF
B level in accordance with the Statements of Expectations (Attachment 1) and as outlined in the Research
Fellowships Advice and Instructions to Applicants which can be accessed at in the RGMS Library at:
https://www.rgms.nhmrc.gov.au

First time applicants should carefully consider their requested application level and apply at a level
commensurate with their research experience and profile. For example, new applicants who are already
operating at a professorial level will not normally be considered at SRF level.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                   12
10.2 Initial Application at Principal Research Fellow (PRF) and Senior Principal
             Research Fellow (SPRF) Level
Initial application at Principal Research Fellow (PRF) or Senior Principal Research Fellow (SPRF) levels will
be considered on a case-by-case basis.

10.2.1Exceptional Circumstances
Applicants must:
   • clearly demonstrate that there are exceptional circumstances which justify their initial application at
       this level. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:
         o moving to a different Institution to conduct research in a full-time capacity
         o loss of a continuing appointment
         o change of employment focus
         o change of the focus or intent of the applicant’s research so that a full-time NHMRC Fellowship
              is warranted
   • clearly demonstrate how their award of a fellowship will bring significant new benefit to Australian
       health and medical research, including the differences between their previous and proposed research
       plans
   • include confirmation as directed in the Application Form from the Head of their Institution that:
         o the statement of exceptional circumstances provided by the applicant accurately describes the
              circumstances of the applicant
         o if successful in obtaining NHMRC PRF or SPRF, the applicant will not be employed by their
              institution in a continuing or tenured position and
         o acknowledges that the applicant will be assessed in accordance with the level of Research
              Fellowship requested.

Note: When a Fellow in the sixth year of their Fellowship has been unsuccessful in their reapplication for a
further Fellowship, funding will cease at the end of the sixth year. Any subsequent Research Fellowship
application will be considered as an Initial Application to the Scheme (refer to Section 10.3.1).

10.2.2 Review Processes for Initial Application at PRF and SPRF levels:
   • The following are the processes for review of these applications:
        o The first review of these applications will be conducted at a meeting of the Chairs of Review
           Panels.
        o At this meeting, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis in relation to their
           demonstration of exceptional circumstances.

   •    The outcomes from this initial review of eligibility will be either that applications:
           o have met the requirements for exceptional circumstances and will proceed to further review and
              interview or
           o have NOT met the requirements for exceptional circumstances and will be withdrawn from the
              assessment process or
           o need further clarification of their demonstration of exceptional circumstances and will be
              reviewed and proceed to interview.
       All applicants will be advised of the status of their applications after the initial review is completed.

   •    Interview processes for those applicants whose statements of exceptional circumstances need further
        clarification:




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    13
         o At the interview of these applicants, the clarification of exceptional circumstances will be
           addressed as a first consideration.
         o If the applicant is deemed ineligible at interview because they have not clearly established
           exceptional circumstances, they will not be ranked with other applicants.
         o If, at interview, the applicant successfully establishes the requirements for exceptional
           circumstances, they will be assessed and ranked by the Panel at PRF or SPRF level in the usual
           way.
         o Applicants will be provided with reasons in relation to their eligibility as part of the Peer Review
           Report of the Panel’s decision.

10.3 Reapplications
All reapplications are made on merit on the basis of the applications each year. Current fellows will not
automatically be granted an interview.

There is no limit to the number of times a Fellow may re-apply to the Scheme. Reapplications must be
requested in the fifth year of a current Fellowship. Note that if reapplication has not been sought within the
tenure of the Fellowship, the Fellowship will cease at the end of the fifth year and any further application to
the Research Fellowships scheme will be considered to be an initial application.

10.3.1 Sixth Year Extensions
Current Fellows in their fifth year, who are unsuccessful either at short-listing or interview, will automatically
be granted a sixth year within the scheme unless the PRP has rated the application in the ‘Fair’ category and
advised the NHMRC of this serious underperformance. In this case, the Fellow may not be granted a sixth
year. Fellows who are granted a sixth year may re-apply without prejudice; however, they may not apply for
Promotion. If this reapplication is unsuccessful, the applicant’s funding will cease at the end of the sixth year
and any subsequent Research Fellowship application will be considered as an initial application to the
Scheme.

The employing institution will be advised if NHMRC Research Fellows are unsuccessful in their reapplication
to the scheme. Failure to be re-appointed indicates a reduced competitiveness for a Fellowship at the current
level. In this event, NHMRC encourages the host institution to provide mentoring and similar support for
these researchers with the aim of facilitating the re-establishment of their research competitiveness for a future
NHMRC Fellowship application.

Current Fellows in their fifth year, who are nearing retirement, may alternatively choose to apply for a One
Year Extension of Fellowship for Retiring Fellows (refer to Section 9.1.5).

10.4 Promotion
Promotion will be made on merit and is usually sought in synchrony with reapplication. Alternatively,
Fellows may apply for a Promotion Out of Synchrony once only in either years two or three of their current
five year Research Fellowship. Promotions will not be considered in years one or four of a current
Fellowship.

Periods of suspension (see Section 9.2) do not contribute to Fellowship time and cannot be included as part of
actual Fellowship time that has elapsed. For example, if a Fellow takes a twelve months suspension at the end
of the second year of their fellowship and returns at the beginning of the fourth year, they would be able to
apply for Promotion Out of Synchrony. They would be in the third year of their Fellowship, even though four
calendar years had elapsed since it commenced.



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                     14
10.4.1 Reapplication with Promotion
The following outlines the process for reviewing Reapplication with Promotion:

   •   Reapplications with Promotion will be assessed at the level of promotion and the current level and, in
       the case of an applicant applying for promotion two levels above, the lower promoted level.
   •   In the case of an applicant applying for promotion two levels above their current level and deemed, at
       initial review, to be non-competitive for promotion at the level sought but considered competitive at a
       lower level, the application will proceed to external assessment and interview as a Reapplication with
       Promotion at the lower level without prejudice. For example, applicants seeking promotion from
       SRFA to PRF may be considered for promotion to the SRFB level if not competitive for the higher
       level. This consideration applies to both Reapplication with Promotion and Promotion Out of
       Synchrony.
   •   If the application is deemed to be non-competitive for promotion at the level sought, but is considered
       competitive at the current level, the application will proceed to external assessment and interview as a
       Reapplication only at the determined level without prejudice.
   •   If the application is deemed to be non-competitive at the current level, then the application will not
       proceed to external assessment and interview. The Fellow will automatically be granted a sixth year
       within the scheme, unless the PRP advises the NHMRC of serious underperformance.
   •   Applicants will be advised in writing prior to interview of the level at which their application is being
       assessed.
   •   Following interview, applications for promotion will be ranked at more than one level. These
       applicants will be funded at the highest level for which they are considered competitive for the
       available funding. If unsuccessful at their promoted or current level, they will be considered for a
       sixth year extension.

10.4.2 Promotions Out of Synchrony
The process for reviewing applications for Promotion Out of Synchrony is as follows:

   •   If, at initial review by the NHMRC, the application is deemed to be not competitive for promotion at
       any level, it will be removed from the peer review process prior to the allocation of external assessors
       and therefore no interview will be conducted. The applicant will be advised and their fellowship will
       continue at the existing level for the duration of their current award.
   •   In the case of an applicant applying for Promotion Out of Synchrony two levels above their current
       level and deemed, at initial review, to be non-competitive for promotion at that level but considered
       competitive at a lower level, the application will proceed to external assessment and interview as a
       Promotion Out of Synchrony at a level lower than that sought by the applicant.
   •   If considered competitive for Promotion Out of Synchrony, the application will be externally assessed
       and ranked with all other applications. To gain promotion, the applicant must be ranked above the
       funding cut-off for that year.
   •   Applicants who are successful in gaining Promotion Out of Synchrony will commence a new 5 year
       award.
   •   All applications for Promotion must be submitted as part of the annual cycle of Research Fellowship
       applications (see Application Process at Section 11).



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    15
10.5 Practitioner Fellows applying for Research Fellowships
Practitioner Fellows may apply for an NHMRC Research Fellowship and should do so at the appropriate
level.

A Practitioner Fellow who has completed two five year awards as a Practitioner Fellow is, if he or she wishes,
eligible to apply to the Research Fellowships scheme at PRF or SPRF level and is not required to demonstrate
exceptional circumstances. In all other ways, Practitioner Fellows who have completed two five year awards
will be required to go through the processes as outlined in the Research Fellowships Funding Policy.


11. Application Process
11.1 How to Apply
All applications should be submitted electronically using NHMRC’s Research Grant Management System
(RGMS). RGMS also provides an online Profile and CV function. This function is used when applying for
all types of grants in RGMS. Relevant information from the Profile and CV will be uploaded automatically
into the application form.

When completing the online application, applicants should refer to the Research Fellowships Advice and
Instructions to Applicants. This document, the on-line application form and other important information can
be accessed by logging in to RGMS at:
https://www.rgms.nhmrc.gov.au

The application should contain all information necessary for assessment without the need for further written or
oral explanation, or reference to additional documentation. All details included must be current at the time of
application, as this will be used as the prime source of information available to the Research Fellowships Peer
Review Panel.

All NHMRC Grant applications must be submitted through the Research Office of an NHMRC Administering
Institution. Applicants should note that Administering Institutions may have a submission date well in advance of
NHMRC’s closing date, and will need to factor this into their timeline when preparing the application.

NOTE: Applications submitted after the closing date will not be considered by NHMRC. Once
submitted to NHMRC, the application will be considered final and no changes will be permitted.
Applicants may withdraw their application at any time.

11.2 Retracted Publications
If a publication relevant to an application is retracted after the application has been submitted, applicants
should advise the NHMRC of the retraction at the earliest opportunity by email to: help@nhmrc.gov.au, with
an appropriate explanation regarding the retraction. Applicants are required to send this information to the
NHMRC through their RAO office.

If an application is largely dependant on the results of a retracted publication, applicants should also consider
withdrawing the application. If, under these circumstances, applicants choose not to withdraw the application,
they should make their reasons clear in their email notification to the NHMRC.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    16
Where the publication forms part of the applicant's Track Record, that information must be immediately
recorded in their Profile & CV in RGMS.

11.3 Opening and Closing date for Applications
Applications for Research Fellowships funding commencing in 2012 open on 13 December 2010 and close at
5:00 pm on 10 February 2011 AEDST. The Peer Review Timetable is available with this document
(Attachment 5).

NOTE: Late applications will not be accepted.

11.4 Interviews
Applicants must make themselves available for an interview at the time and date requested during the
interview week. Interviews under this funding round are scheduled from 20 June to 23 June 2011. In
extreme circumstances where the applicant is unable to attend an interview on the specified dates, the
applicant should contact the NHMRC through their institution’s Administration Office by email to:
research.fellowships@nhmrc.gov.au




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                  17
12. Peer Review Process
Applications are assessed and evaluated through a peer review process. This process is managed through the
Peer Review Panels (PRP), which are appointed by the NHMRC’s CEO. The Scoring/Ranking Matrix for
Research Fellowships applications is at Attachment 3.

The sequence of events in the peer review process is as follows:

                                             Applications Receipt


                                  Assign applications to Peer Review Panels


                         Panels assess applications for competitiveness / short listing


           Short listing advice to applicants / Initial Review Report for non-competitive applicants


                              External assessment for each short listed applicant


                                       Interview short-listed applicants


                       Panel finalises assessment and ranking for short-listed applicants


                                             Research Committee


                                                    Council


                                                     CEO


                                                    Minister


                                  Advice/Peer Review Report to Applicants




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                18
13. Administration
Successful applicants awarded a Research Fellowship will negotiate with the employing institution regarding
use of the total package (level of salary, on-costs etc). Institutions are responsible for using the Package funds
as set out in the Deed of Agreement for NHMRC Researcher Support Schemes.

If an applicant’s employment circumstances change following submission of an application for a Research
Fellowship or during the course of a current Fellowship, e.g. change of employer or additional employment
responsibilities being undertaken, the NHMRC is to be notified immediately. This is essential so that the
NHMRC is able to determine if the ability of the Fellow to undertake the roles and responsibilities of the
Fellowship is affected by the change in circumstances. The notification will need to detail the extra financial
and administrative implications for the Fellow, and implications of the change on their ability to undertake the
roles and responsibilities of the Fellowship.

Any enquiries regarding post award administration should be directed to:
postaward.management@nhmrc.gov.au

13.1 Deed of Agreement
All grants are offered in accordance with the Deed of Agreement between the NHMRC and the Administering
Institution through schedules relating to the grant. In signing the Signature Block for Schedules, the
Administering Institution is agreeing to the conditions contained in the Deed of Agreement and the Schedule.
Details of the Deed of Agreement can be found at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/admin/deeds.htm

A grant may not commence, nor grant funds be expended, prior to:
•     the Deed of Agreement between the NHMRC and the Administering Institution being in place
•     the appropriate Signature Block for Schedules being signed by the signatories to the Deed of Agreement, or
      an appropriate delegate, and signed and executed by the NHMRC.

13.2 Financial Management - Payments
Subject to appropriations, payment of funds will be made to institutions in regular instalments, in accordance
with approved payment arrangements made for assistance provided from the Medical Research Endowment
Account. Funds must be used only for purposes approved under the Research Fellowships Scheme and in
accordance with the Deed of Agreement.

13.3 Responsible Conduct of Research
Applicants must not directly contact Peer Review Panel (PRP) members or External Assessors in relation to
their application, or the peer review process. If they do so, panel members/assessors must inform NHMRC,
and NHMRC may exclude their application from further consideration. Similarly, PRP members and External
Assessors must not contact applicants.

All applicants are to direct any queries to their Administering Institution’s RAO in the first instance.

Research funded by the NHMRC must comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of
Research (2007), which can be found at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/r39syn.htm




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                     19
13.4 Privacy of individuals
Documents containing personal information are handled and protected by the NHMRC in accordance with the
provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act), which sets standards for the collection, storage, use and
disclosure of, and access to, personal information. Personal information is disclosed only with permission of
the individual to whom it relates or where the Privacy Act allows.

13.5 Use of Personal Information
Section 95 of the Privacy Act provides that the CEO of the NHMRC may, with the approval of the Privacy
Commissioner, issue guidelines for the protection of privacy in the conduct of medical research.

Any research involving humans that uses personal information held by Commonwealth agencies where
identified information needs to be used without consent from the individual(s) involved should abide by the
NHMRC Guidelines approved under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988, 2001 (Section 95 Guidelines). In
these situations, the proposed medical research must be approved by a properly constituted Human Research
Ethics Committee (HREC) in accordance with the Section 95 Guidelines.

NHMRC Guidelines approved under Section 95A of the Privacy Act 1988 (Section 95A Guidelines) are
broader than the Section 95 Guidelines and apply to the collection, use and disclosure of health information
held by organisations in the private sector for the purposes of research or the compilation or analysis of
statistics, relevant to public health or public safety, without the consent of the individual(s) involved. Under
the Section 95A Guidelines, an HREC must give approval for the use of this information.

13.6 Confidentiality
Section 80 of the NHMRC Act prevents NHMRC Officers (including staff and members of NHMRC Council
and committees) from disclosing commercial-in-confidence information acquired in the course of their duties
and relating to matters under consideration by the NHMRC, unless the disclosure is made in the performance
of duties under the NHMRC Act. Information which may properly be regarded as confidential commercial
information should be designated as such.

Information comprising the names of successful grant applicants and their administering institutions, together
with the title of the research project and the funding awarded, are published in the NHMRC Annual Report
and are available through the NHMRC’s website. The NHMRC may also release information about the areas
of research of the grant and a brief description of the grant provided by the applicant in response to the
question on the application form designated as Significance – Lay description (suitable for media).

13.7 Intellectual property
Applicants must agree to comply with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for
Publicly Funded Research (2001) available at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/policy/ipmanage.htm

13.8 False or Misleading Information
If an application is incomplete or contains information that is considered misleading, it will be excluded from
any further consideration for funding.

Under s136.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, it is an offence to provide false or misleading
information to a Commonwealth body in an application for a benefit, punishable by up to 12 months
imprisonment.



Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                     20
If the NHMRC believes that omissions or inclusion of misleading information are intentional, it may refer the
matter for appropriate legal action.
Examples of false or misleading information in an application include, but are not restricted to:
    •    providing fictitious track records; or
    •    falsifying claims in publications records (such as describing a paper as accepted for publication when
         it has only been submitted); or
    •    misrepresenting claims in relation to career disruption.

13.9 Enquiries
Enquiries about the content of the Research Fellowships Funding Policy for funding in 2012 should be
addressed to your Administering Institution’s Research Administrative Officer (RAO) in the first instance. If
further assistance is required, please contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983, or at
help@nhmrc.gov.au or go direct to the relevant funding scheme webpage on the NHMRC website:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/types/index.htm

Postal address:        National Health and Medical Research Council
                       GPO Box 1421
                       CANBERRA ACT 2601


14. Reporting
Research Fellows are required to submit the following reports:

14.1 Mid-Term Progress Report
A one-page executive summary addressing achievements and progress against the aims of the RF Scheme is
required by 30 September in the third year of the grant. The purpose is to report on the first 2.5 year period of
the grant. In a separate attachment to the executive summary the Fellow should provide detailed lists updating
publications, grants, peer recognition, prizes and awards, research translation, commercialisation, clinical
activities, public health activities, research training, and contribution to professional activities (refer to
Ranking Category Descriptors - Attachment 2) during the tenure of the current Fellowship. The report is to
be prepared with a minimum font size of 10 point and with a serif font such as Times New Roman.

Progress Reports will be submitted to the NHMRC for consideration and any appropriate action could involve
a member of NHMRC making personal contact with the Fellow or his/her institution to discuss any concerns.

The mid-term Progress Report form can be downloaded from the NHMRC’s website at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/admin/progreport.htm

14.2 Final Report
This report enables NHMRC to assess whether the objectives of the award have been achieved and also to
gather information that may be useful in NHMRC’s internal performance measurement activities.

The Final Report is to be submitted within six months of completion of a five year Fellowship or termination
of the award except where a sixth year of support is provided. In this instance the final report will be required
within six months of completion of that additional year of funding.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                    21
The Final Report form, supplementary forms and Instructions for End of Funding Reports can be downloaded
from the NHMRC’s website at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/admin/progreport.htm

In completing the final report, Fellows are required to provide information on research achievements, outputs
and outcomes, compliance with terms of Deed of Agreement for funding, certification and a list of
publications for the five years of the Fellowship. All sections in the final report form should be addressed.

Failure to provide the Final Report for Research Awards is a breach of the Terms of the Deed of Agreement
and may seriously prejudice consideration of further applications for NHMRC funding.

14.3 Trans-Tasman Joint Initiative Award Report
The recipient must provide a one-page report on their collaborative associations with New Zealand
researchers. The report is to be attached to the mid-term progress report and final report.

14.4 Support Enhancement Option Report
SEO awardees must provide a one page report attached to their mid-term Progress Report and their Final
Report. These reports should detail current progress against the action plan which formed the justification for
the original SEO request.

14.5 Financial Reporting
In accordance with NHMRC Deed of Agreement an annual financial statement must be submitted to NHMRC
for each year of funding. A final financial statement is to be submitted within six months of completion of a
five year award, sixth year if applicable, or termination of the award.


15. Open Access Statement
The Australian Government makes a major investment in research to support its essential role in improving
the wellbeing of our society. To maximise the benefits from research, findings need to be disseminated as
broadly as possible to allow access by other researchers and the wider community.

NHMRC acknowledges that researchers take into account a wide range of factors in deciding on the best
outlets for publications arising from their research. Such considerations include the status and reputation of a
journal or publisher, the peer review process of evaluating their research outputs, access by other stakeholders
to their work, the likely impact of their work on users of research and the further dissemination and production
of knowledge. Taking heed of these considerations, both organisations want to ensure the widest possible
dissemination of the research supported by their grants, in the most effective manner and at the earliest
opportunity.

NHMRC encourages researchers to consider the benefits of depositing their data and any publications arising
from a research project in an appropriate subject and/or institutional repository wherever such a repository is
available to the researcher(s). If a researcher is not intending to deposit the data from a project in a repository
within a six-month period, s/he should include the reasons in the project’s Final Report. Any research outputs
that have been or will be deposited in appropriate repositories should be identified in the Final Report.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                      22
16. Objections and Complaints Process
The NHMRC policy on complaints can be found at: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/contact/complaint.htm

16.1 Objections
Applicants may contact the NHMRC seeking clarification on the outcome of their application for funding, or
to state an objection to any part of the process. The objection must be lodged in writing through the
Administering Institution’s Research Office and be received within four weeks of the date on the letter
notifying the outcome of the application.

The objection should be directed to the Complaints Officer at:

      Complaints Officer
      National Health and Medical Research Council
      GPO Box 1421
      CANBERRA ACT 2601

      Or via email to: complaints@nhmrc.gov.au

The NHMRC will provide a written response to all objections.

The National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 (NHMRC Act) provides for the Commissioner
not to investigate a complaint where the complainant has not initially approached the CEO for resolution.

If an applicant is not satisfied with the outcome, they may lodge a formal complaint with the NHMRC
Commissioner of Complaints, as detailed in Part 8 of the NHMRC Act.

The NHMRC Act may be found at:
http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/ActCompilation1.nsf/0/23029FDD3FCC3FD7CA25719C00
8331D3/$file/NatHeaMedResCou1992WD02.pdf

16.2 Formal Complaints to the Commissioner
Complaints to the Commissioner should be addressed to:


      Dr Kerry Breen
      NHMRC Commissioner of Complaints
      GPO Box 1421
      CANBERRA ACT 2601

The complaint must be in writing, be signed by the complainant, describe the action complained about and
specify the nature of and grounds for the complaint.

Complaints can only be considered against administrative process and not the merits of a particular decision.
The grounds of Complaint are detailed at section 58 of the NHMRC Act.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                  23
                         Statements of Expectations - Attachment 1


The Statements of Expectations set out broad outline activities, attributes and achievements within the levels
of the NHMRC Research Fellowships scheme. In coming to decisions about relative merit of applicants for
these positions, assessors will take into account research track record of these baseline activities relative to
opportunity. Applicants should note the attached Ranking Category Descriptors (Attachment 2) which
identify quality of research and associated outcomes. The list of Ranking Category Descriptors is meant to
be indicative rather than exhaustive.

Applicants for an NHMRC Research Fellowship at all levels will be expected to articulate a vision for their
research for the next 5 years and to provide convincing evidence of their intellectual leadership in their
field. The quality of their research outputs, including publications, patents and any evidence for translation
into practice of their work, will be a primary consideration in the assessment of their application for a
Fellowship. Similarly, the level of success in obtaining grants funding and their National and International
research profile will be major determinants of the outcome of applications for Fellowship. Supervision of
research students, mentoring and peer review and research administrative activities will also be factors
impacting on the competitiveness of an application.

Senior Research Fellow
SRF A

General Standard: To be competitive for award of a Fellowship at SRFA level, an applicant will have
provided convincing evidence that he/she has independently conceived and conducted original research and
regularly published research findings in high quality peer review international journals, independently or as
part of a research team. The Fellow is expected to continue to develop relevant research expertise and
research group leadership.

SRF B

General Standard: To be competitive for award of a Fellowship at SRFB level, an applicant will have
provided convincing evidence that he/she has independently conceived and conducted original research and
regularly published research findings in high quality peer review international journals. The Fellow is
expected to be making independent and original contributions and to exercise leadership in influencing
research directions and outcomes. In addition, the Fellow will be contributing significantly to their
profession and to research training.

Principal Research Fellow
General Standard: A Principal Research Fellow is expected to be making substantial and major
contributions to research through high quality publication and other communication of their original
research findings. In addition, they will be making significant contributions to their profession and
discipline and to research training. This level of award recognises marked distinction in the Fellow’s
research and scholarship. Applicants who are applying at this level for the first time, must also demonstrate
exceptional circumstances for their award of a Fellowship commensurate with the aims of the Research
Fellowships scheme, and clearly demonstrate how Australian health and medical research would derive new
benefit from their award of a Fellowship.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                     24
Senior Principal Research Fellow
General Standard: A Senior Principal Research Fellow will be recognised as a leading authority in a
research area and will have made substantial and highly original contributions to the area. The Fellow is
expected to exercise special responsibility in providing leadership and in fostering excellence in research.
They will play a leading role within their profession or discipline in research training in their organisation or
institution and within the scholarly and general community. Applicants who are applying at this level for
the first time must also demonstrate exceptional circumstances for their award of Fellowship commensurate
with the aims of the Research Fellowships scheme, and clearly demonstrate how Australian health and
medical research would benefit from their award of a Fellowship.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                      25
                          NHMRC Research Fellowship Ranking Category Descriptor - Attachment 2



The following category descriptors are used as a guide to score an application against each of the selection criteria. The descriptors are indicative
rather than exhaustive. Evaluation of performance will take into account opportunity, research discipline and be an overall summation of research
contributions.
Note: There is no reference to journal impact factors in the Research Fellowships Funding Policy. For further information on this issue, please
refer to the NHMRC website: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about/senior_staff/articles/index.htm

 Category                Score      Criterion 1 – Vision for the next five     Criterion 2 – Quality of research output(with particular                Criterion 3 – Research
                                    years, Intellectual leadership and         emphasis on the past five years), success in obtaining grants,          supervision, mentoring, peer
                                    contribution                               national and international profile                                      review and research administration
                                    Weight 25%                                 Weight 60%                                                              Weight 15%
 Outstanding - highest              • Highly innovative research that is       • Published research is highly influential making seminal               • Extensive evidence of primary
 international quality   4.1 -5.0       transformative and introduces               contributions with broad impact.                                        supervision and mentoring of
 and research                           advanced concepts.                     • Research output is exceptional and continuing on an                        PhD candidates (or equivalent)
 performance                        • Clear evidence of a vision that will          upward trajectory in terms of quality and quantity.                     with successful completions.
 (top 5%                                substantially advance the field        • Success in obtaining major international grants as CIA.               • Major contributions to the
 internationally).                  • Highly recognised internationally for    • International prizes and major international recognition for               profession with respect to peer
                                        their contribution to their field of        outcomes.                                                               review of grants and
                                        research and intellectual leadership   • Invitations to give plenary presentations at major                         publications, such as Editor of
                                        subject to opportunity.                     international meetings, major role in international Policy.             international top ranked
                                    • Lead role in research design, conduct    • Significant evidence of major collaborative interactions in                generalist journal.
                                        and publication of seminal research         the national and/or international scientific / clinical / public   • Major professional
                                        and/or lead role in reform of public        health arena.                                                           contribution to the national
                                        health policy/clinical practice.       • Major transformational contributions to their field of                     health and medical research
                                                                                    research, either via seminal contributions to fundamental               community commensurate
                                                                                    science and/or translation of research to practice, either via          with level of fellowship.
                                                                                    commercialisation, clinical medicine, public health or                  (Examples depending upon
                                                                                    fundamental changes in health policy.                                   fellowship level: grant review,
                                                                                                                                                            GRP membership, GRP chair,
                                                                                                                                                            NHMRC advisory position,
                                                                                                                                                            membership of Academy).
                                                                                                                                                       • Holds leadership positions in
                                                                                                                                                            highly regarded international
                                                                                                                                                            scientific or professional
                                                                                                                                                            societies.
                                                                                                                                                       • Clear evidence of other key

     Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                                    26
                                                                                                                                                             contributions to the
                                                                                                                                                             profession, including public
                                                                                                                                                             communication /advocacy.
                                                                                                                                                         •   Significant leadership role
                                                                                                                                                             within a Departmental Centre
                                                                                                                                                             or Institute.

Excellent – highly        3.1 – 4.0   •   Internationally and nationally             •   Published research is highly influential with broad impact.     •   Evidence of active supervision
competitive                               recognised for their contribution to       •   High research output and continuing on an upward                    of PhD candidates or
internationally                           their field of research and intellectual       trajectory in terms of quality and quantity.                        equivalent with successful
(top 10%                                  leadership subject to opportunity.         •   Major national grants as CIA.                                       completions.
internationally)                      •   Clear evidence of a vision that is         •   International/National prizes.                                  •   Member of peer review
                                          likely to advance the field.               •   Invited speaker at major international meetings; Invited            committee or panels or
                                      •   Key but not necessarily lead role in           member of international Policy Group.                               similar.
                                          research design, conduct and               •   Evidence of collaborative interactions in the national and/or   •   Specific contribution to the
                                          publication of seminal research                international scientific / clinical / public health arena.          national health and medical
                                          and/or key but not lead role in reform     •   Evidence of transformational contributions to their field of        research community
                                          of public health policy/clinical               research expertise, either via seminal contributions to             commensurate with level of
                                          practice.                                      fundamental science and/or translation of research to               fellowship.
                                                                                         practice, either via commercialisation, clinical medicine,      •   Member of Editorial Board of
                                                                                         public health or fundamental changes in health policy.              international specialist journal.
                                                                                                                                                         •   Holds leadership position in
                                                                                                                                                             scientific or professional
                                                                                                                                                             society.
                                                                                                                                                         •   Some evidence of other key
                                                                                                                                                             contributions to the
                                                                                                                                                             profession, public
                                                                                                                                                             communication.

Very Good – The                       •   Recognised nationally to some extent       •   Published research makes specialised contributions to           •   Supervision, joint supervision
applicant is considered   2.1 – 3.0       for their contribution to their field of       knowledge.                                                          of PhD candidates.
to be very good in                        research and intellectual leadership       •   Acceptable research output quality and quantity.                •   Review of grants, and other
terms of the selection                    subject to opportunity. May have           •   Major national grants not necessarily as CIA or grant               research applications.
criteria but on balance                   some evidence of an international              funding primarily from specialist agencies (e.g. Cancer         •   Evidence of some contribution
is not competitive.                       profile.                                       Council, NHR etc).                                                  to the national health and
                                      •   Some vision of their future                •   National/State/Institutional prizes.                                medical research community
                                          contribution to their field of             •   Some evidence of significant international profile.                 commensurate with level of
                                          endeavour.                                 •   Emerging collaborative activities in the national and/or            fellowship.
                                      •   Consistent contribution to                     international scientific / clinical / public health arena.      •   Membership of or minor role
                                          fundamental science, clinical practice     •   Some evidence for transformational contributions to their           in professional societies
                                          or health policy but not necessarily           field.                                                              (senior office bearer or


     Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                                       27
                                             with a leadership role.                                                                                           meeting organiser, editorial
                                                                                                                                                               board responsibility).

Good – the applicant                     •   Nationally recognised for their           •   Publications demonstrate research sustaining the knowledge      •   Some evidence of involvement
displays a number of         1.1 - 2.0       contribution to their field of research       base of the discipline.                                             in supervision of postgraduate
good features in terms                       and intellectual leadership subject to    •   National grants from specialist agencies (e.g. Cancer               students. supervision / joint
of the selection criteria                    opportunity.                                  Council, NHF etc).                                                  supervision.
but is not competitive.                  •   Developing vision of their                •   State/Institutional prizes.                                     •   Emerging evidence of a
                                             contribution to their field of            •   Speaker at major national meeting; Member of major                  contribution to the national
                                             endeavour.                                    national Health Policy Advisory Group (e.g. NHMRC);                 health and medical research
                                         •   Advocacy of public health evidence            Member of Editorial Board of local specialist journal.              community commensurate
                                             into policy/practice; local               •   Developing research translation potential but little evidence       with level of fellowship.
                                             practitioner; modest participation in         of contribution to date.                                        •   Membership of professional
                                             local public or private sector                                                                                    societies or other evidence of
                                             governance.                                                                                                       emerging professional
                                                                                                                                                               activities.


Fair – the application is    0.0 – 1.0   •   Leadership role is primarily              •   Low number and/or quality of research publications in           •   Supervision of Honours
clearly not of sufficient                    recognised at the institutional level.        specialized field of research.                                      research and other higher
quality to be                            •   Limited research vision.                  •   Grants funding primarily from local institutional sources           degree candidates.
competitive against any                  •   Little evidence of research translation       rather than competitive grant funding.                          •   Training of postdoctoral staff
of the selection criteria.                   or a vision for such.                     •   Institutional prizes.                                               and general research staff.
Such an applicant                                                                      •   Limited evidence for speaking invitations (e.g. invited         •   Member of professional
would not proceed to                                                                       seminars), committee or board membership.                           societies.
interview.                                                                             •   Little evidence of research translation potential.




     Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                                        28
Scoring/Ranking Matrix for Research Fellowships Applications - Attachment 3




           Selection Criteria                Score                    Weights            Weighted Score
                                             Outstanding 4.1–5.0                         (rounded up)
                                             Excellent 3.1–4.0
                                             Very Good 2.1–3.0
                                             Good 1.1–2.0
                                             Fair 0.0-1.0

           Vision for the next five                                   25% (multiply Score X 1.5
           years. Intellectual leadership                             score by 1.5)
           and contribution

           Quality of research output                                 60% (multiply Score X 3.6
           (publications, patents,                                    score by 3.6)
           research translation), with
           particular emphasis on the
           past five years.

           Success in obtaining grants

           National and international
           profile (impact and
           significance)

           Research supervision,                                      15% (multiply Score X 0.9
           mentoring, peer review and                                 score by 0.9)
           research administration

           Total  Weighted   Score
           (maximum weighted score
           = 30)


The weighted scores from each panel member will be combined i.e. a mean score determined and added to
the list of scores for all applicants to provide a provisional ranked list. This list is designed to be preliminary
in nature and to be used as a guide rather than as the final determinant of rankings i.e. its purpose is to assist
the panel in arriving at its final decisions regarding applicant rankings.




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                                       29
      Research Fellowships Packages commencing in 2012 - Attachment 4




                         Destination                        Package      Package Provision

              Lowest to highest designation                  Level         $ Per Annum
                                                                             $116,182
                            SRF A                         RF Package 1
                                                                             $128,371
                            SRF B                         RF Package 2
                                                                             $140,559
                             PRF                          RF Package 3
                                                                             $158,972
                            SPRF                          RF Package 4




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                      30
                            Peer Review Timetable - Attachment 5


                             Research Fellowships Commencing in 2012



    Research Fellowship applications open                        13 December 2010

    Closing Date for Research Fellowship applications          10 February 2011 at
                                                                   5:00pm AEDST
    First Review of RF/PF applications                                  April 2011
    – all Review Panels meet.

    External Assessment of applications                              May/June 2011

    Scheduling and notification of interview and advice to             20 May 2011
    non-competitive applicants.

    Fellowships Interviews                                        20 - 23 June 2011
                                                             Panel Briefing - evening
                                                                    of 19 June 2011

    Final ranking of applications                                      24 June 2011

    Recommendations to NHMRC                                            August 2011

    Recommendations to Minister                                       Sept/Oct 2011

    Advice to Applicants                                             Early Nov 2011




Prepared by the
National Health and Medical Research Council
Revised 9 December 2010




Research Fellowships Funding Policy for Funding in 2012                                 31

				
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